Have you ever noticed when you are visiting a website and seeing either the icon of a padlock, or alternatively the words ‘Not secure’ before a website URL??
A simple analogy for you to think of, if you were standing in front of two shops that were identical, but in shop one (1) it was known to have shady characters, who are posing also as regular customers. In this shop there’s been known pick-pocketers who are skillful and unknowingly pick-pocket you, they grab out your licence and credit cards and take a photo of them and put them back in your pocket without you even being aware of it.
In the second (2) shop it has a good reputation and it has security cameras, numerous staff to assist in an easy and safe experience, and keeping out of the shop any shady unwanted characters.
Which shop would you physically go into, the safe shop or the shady shop? This is similar to the differences in having an SSL certificate on your website or not.
As a consumer and for website owners it is critical to know which environment you are stepping into. As a website owner, are you creating and maintaining a safe space for people to come and visit you?
This is the difference between having an SSL certificate, or not.
In this digital age, where almost every essential activity is done online from connecting with friends, buying products, online banking up to streaming your favourite videos, it is an absolute must and non-negotiable to be secured in the sites that we all visit. What exactly is SSL and why should I consider investing in it?
Security Sockets Lock (SSL) is considered the backbone of security across the World Wide Web. As a backbone, it provides privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your websites and your users’ personal information. It essentially protects any type of information as it travels across the world’s computer networks. The common misconception is that SSL is only needed for websites asking for money related information such as credit cards. However, this isn’t the advantage of securing an SSL.
Have you ever wondered whether or not the messages we sent using our messaging apps to the intended recipient are secured? Because of SSL, sensitive information sent across the Internet is encrypted so that only the intended recipient can access it. Since the information you type is passed from computer to computer to reach the destination server, it is only reasonable that it must be secured. If there is no encryption with SSL certificate, any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to. An excellent way to deter identity thieves and hackers online.
We think that by this point you would be convinced of the importance of an SSL certificate and investing in it. But if you’re still thinking twice on investing in an SSL certificate, here are some of its benefits:
1. It boosts your website security:
This is the most essential use of procuring SSL certificates as they ensure the security of all data and information to and from your website. Such information can be login details, signups, addresses and payment or personal information. With SSL certificates, encryption of the connection will be done and helps your site visitors’ data from being misused by hackers.
2. It provides safety for all your subdomains.
That’s especially useful if you are a business owner or if you maintain large websites with several subdomains. A specific type of SSL certificate known as a Wildcard lets you secure your main site and all its subdomains (like blog.yourdomain.com or shop.yourdomain.com) with one single SSL certificate. With a standard SSL, you’ll have to install separate certificates for each of your subdomains. This all boils down to safety of all the sites you’ve decided to put up.
3. It establishes credibility of your site, thus gaining customers.
One aspect of brand reputation especially in start-ups is gaining the trust of your potential market. Procuring SSL certificates is beneficial if you want to establish your brand as trustworthy. Sure, no one wants to engage in websites which are unsecured. More often than not, most of the business websites require certain personal details in their page and with issues of security, a potential customer might be apprehensive in giving it a go. An SSL certified website will be displayed with a security padlock in the address bar of the browser indicating a secured connection. As a website owner, this is very telling that you value your website visitors and potential customers’ respective privacies seriously. This is a win-win situation for both the website owner and the visitor. Solid brand reputation for the former and secured browsing for the latter.
4. It gives you SEO advantages.
In case no one has told you, having an SSL certificate installed improves SEO rankings which your site will get. In fact, securing SSL certificate was an absolute must in 2018 to further safe browsing. Google flagged any website that doesn’t have SSL certification by the end of 2017. This change has affected every single website and not just websites that deal with online payments or are selling something. Personal or business websites were somehow forced to comply as this was a serious initiative.
Also, with Google’s HTTPS everywhere initiative, they give websites with encrypted connections a slight rankings boost. Although the boost may not be substantial, having an SSL will give you an advantage over your competitors who don’t have certificates yet.
Just as similar to starting a website, maintaining an online presence is an equally tedious job. Hence, it is only appropriate to take the necessary precautions in maintaining your website. Investing in an SSL certificate is a great start. As website owners, along with gaining profit and establishing one’s brand comes with it the responsibility of ensuring that your website has top quality security.
A simple investment in your website SSL certificate goes a long way into creating trust with your customers, whether they are first time or repeat visitors. This in turn develops brand equity, but most importantly you need to maintain this equity by maintaining your digital presence through website security, performance and usability.
Remember your website is a dynamic tool and an investment for your business or organisation and it is critical to keep it up to date and well maintained.
Please connect with us if you have any questions about SSL certificates or other websites related enquiries.